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Gertie The Dinosaur

Published 1914

A short animation film by Winsor McCay.

Audio/Visual sound, color


Reviewer: howefitz - - March 26, 2015
Subject: A National Treasure
I feel compelled to add a great review to push down the one that refers to this film as "trash"...

This animated gem was made at the turn of the twentieth century. It features the first animated character with a very real personality. Watch this and imagine your only experiences with cartoons are in the newspaper. Then you see this film, and the cartoon moves! It had to be awe inspiring. Gertie, Nemo, and the other works of Windsor McCay have inspired countless artists, cartoonists, and film makers. We are so fortunate that we live in a time when films such as these are archived and accessible with the touch of a button. My hope is that people that truly appreciate these works will find them...
Reviewer: RipJarvis - - April 20, 2011
Subject: Gertie
I fear one of our reviewers lost sight of the reasons that the film came into being. As someone said it was part of McKay's Vaudeville Chalk Talks. These were done to make money, yes, but they also brought the new field of animation to people who would have never gone to the Nickelodeon to view them. It was also a time when much of the country had no access to museums of any account, and dinosaurs were something that they might have heard of, but that was about all. It was also a time when P.T. Barnum had just brought the gigantic elephant "Jumbo" to America and he was a super star of the time. By putting him in direct comparison with Gertie McCay began to give people an idea of how big real dinosaurs were.
Reviewer: Dr Feel Rotten - - January 31, 2011
Subject: OH my..not perfect
So it's not scientifically correct.. BIG deal. It wasn't intended to be as such. What the real waste was was your slashing this old film. Why bother if you think it was so horrible? I suppose you're all offended now..

I liked it..plain and simple.
Reviewer: MorpheusOne - - January 15, 2011
Subject: What a waste...
Besides being scientifically and historically inaccurate on so many levels, and besides the fact that it could be said that what is depicted in the cartoon in this video is just a depiction, this whole video was obviously meant to be a comedy piece, not something that anyone should take as a work of science or history.

Unfortunately however, this was boring and NOT funny!!

It should be saved for posterity and it has been but, posterity is the only reason to save this boring and inaccurate piece of trash...
Reviewer: JodyValyou - - January 8, 2008
Subject: Windsor McCay, a True American Film Pioneer
A prolific artist, McCay's pioneering early animated films set a standard followed by Walt Disney and others in later decades. His two best-known creations are the newspaper comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland, which ran from 1905 to 1914, and the animated cartoon Gertie the Dinosaur, which he created in 1914.
His comic strip work has influenced generations of artists, including creators such as Moebius, Chris Ware, William Joyce, and Maurice Sendak.
Gertie the Dinosaur is a 1914 short animated film by Winsor McCay that inspired many generations of animators to bring their cartoons to life. Although not the first animated film, as is sometimes thought, it was the first cartoon to feature a character with an appealing personality. The film was also the first to be created using keyframe animation.
Gertie the Dinosaur was originally created to be used in McCay's vaudeville performances. McCay started performing "chalk talks" on vaudeville in 1906, as a sideline to his regular newspaper cartooning. In 1911, he began presenting animated films on stage, first an animation of Little Nemo in Slumberland. Plans for Gertie were announced in 1912. In January of 1914, the drawings were photographed by Vitagraph Studios. The first presentation of the film was at the Palace Theater in Chicago on February 8, 1914; later performances were at the Hammerstein Theater in New York City.
The performance consisted of McCay interacting with Gertie, a cartoon Diplodocus. McCay would stand on stage in front of a projection screen, dressed in a tuxedo and wielding a whip. He would call Gertie, who appeared from behind some rocks. He then instructed her to perform various tricks, similar to a circus act. He would appear to toss a prop apple to her — McCay palmed the apple while Gertie caught an animated copy of it. Gertie was also seen to swallow a large rock, play with a Mastodon, and drink an entire lake dry. At one point, McCay would scold Gertie for misbehaving, at which she would begin to cry. For the finale, McCay disappeared behind the screen just as a cartoon version of him climbed onto Gertie's head and rode off.
In 1921, McCay planned to make a second animated film featuring Gertie, titled Gertie on Tour. The film would have seen Gertie visiting New York and Washington, D.C., bouncing on the Brooklyn Bridge and attempting to eat the Washington Monument, among other scenes. The film was never completed, and exists only in fragments and concept sketches.
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